Randy Dillard

2015 Igniting the Spark


What do you call a Difference Maker who has helped dozens of other University of Michigan-Dearborn Difference Makers reach their full potential?

Randy Dillard.

For Randy, helping students succeed was a natural part of the job when he worked in the Student Activities Office.

“I believe in our institutional mission and values and I have demonstrated and lived those things consistently through my day-to-day actions,” he said.

Whether personally inviting students to events or following up with them about how to get involved on campus, Randy intentionally invested in others.

And students took notice.

Through him, they learned the importance of continuing their education and committing to helping others on campus and throughout the community.

“If you were to look at the list of past Difference Makers, you’d be hard-pressed to find one who wasn’t somehow impacted by Randy, myself included,” said Kristin McDonough, Greek life coordinator.

“Randy has empowered and inspired hundreds of UM-Dearborn students over the years. He’s the spark that ignited so many of our individual passions for changing the world.”

After leaving the university to work with United Way, Randy made an effort to keep in contact with students. Reaching out to students directly, stopping by big events, offering feedback—students again felt like Randy was giving them special treatment. In reality, it was just Randy being Randy.

He’s reaching out to a new generation of UM-Dearborn students too. Randy has been a guest speaker at Student Philanthropy Council meetings and has worked with students as they map out their graduate program plans.

These days, Randy has embarked on his own graduate school journey as he works toward a doctorate in education.

He’ll use that degree—along with a lifetime of knowledge and experience—to spark his own global passion.

Randy hopes to start and run a transnational organization that promotes policy improvements in social equity, education and economic mobility for all.